Book Review: Letter to my Daughter

Letter to my Daughter

Maya Angelou

Random House

192 pages

I am convinced that most people do not grow up.  We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards.  We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up.  I think what we do is mostly grow old.  We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.

We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.

I had no idea what to expect when I picked up Letter to my Daughter, by Maya Angelou.  I didn’t read the jacket or any type of description—I just knew I wanted to read it because I found I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings to be very inspirational.  I now know that Letter to my Daughter is its equal on that level.

Letter to my Daughter is a book of life lessons and inspirational messages that Angelou wants to pass on to women everywhere.  The book is divided into sections, each with an inspiring theme.  Some sections are more autobiographical than others; Angelou briefly touches on her childhood in Sparks , Arkansas as well as getting pregnant in high school with her son and the few years after it.  Other sections do not include the same type of anecdotal reminiscence but instead are Angelou’s expostulations on everyday issues.

Letter to my Daughter is very short—the formatting is the only reason the book reaches 192 pages.  The actual text of the book is probably around 100 pages.  It is definitely the type of book to take your time with and try to savor.

As Angelou says,

I gave birth to one child, a son, but I have thousands of daughters. You are Black and White, Jewish and Muslim, Asian and Spanish-speaking, Native American and Aleut. You are fat and thin and pretty and plain, gay and straight, educated and unlettered, and I am speaking to you all. Here is my offering to you

Fittingly, I read this book for the Women Unbound challenge.

Other reviews:

The Book Lady’s Blog

I borrowed this book from my local library

4 Responses

  1. I’ve never read anything by Angelou.

  2. I just love the first quote and want to read the book – now! Have never read Angelou before…

  3. […] 2. Letter to my Daughter, Maya Angelou […]

  4. oprah also makes some good book reviews, i always wait for the book reviews of oprah ‘*,

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